By, Lauren C
I've always wanted to be a mother… since a very young age, my greatest dream was to be a mom of five or six kids! One reason could be that I'm one of five and very close with all of my brothers and sisters and we're used to a lot of activity going on ALL of the time. You could say I'm not very good with down time. My mom made a lot of sacrifices for us and always did her best to show us lots of love! I always pictured myself being a mom like this. However, my plans to be a mom were thwarted in my mid-20s.
I was engaged to a youth pastor after dating on and off for seven years. After planning
two weddings for 450 people, my fiance called off the wedding two months before we
were supposed to walk down the aisle. I was devastated and my plans and dreams of
being a wife and mother looked like they were slipping away.
I was always looking for my next stage in life instead of being content with where I was;
"I'll serve God when I'm married," "l'll really be happy and fulfilled when I become a
mom." It’s taught me to be content right where God has me; to serve Him and continue
to grow closer to Him no matter what stage of life I’m in.
God has us just where He wants us right now.
Let me encourage you to focus on where God has placed you today and not believing
the lie that you will find fulfillment and joy when the next stage of your life occurs. The
time is now!
My story continues when I found my husband a few years later and now have two
beautiful children. They keep me on my toes 24/7! They have lots of energy and joy and
it's so amazing to see their tender hearts for the Lord and their sweet simple prayers,
even at three and five years old! As a working mom, life is busy. I am trying to balance
life, family, and time with the Lord, etc… It's a work in progress, but I find contentment
when praying, Proverbs 31:31 “that my children will one day be able to say, Honor
her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city
gate." Another verse that always comes to mind as I teach my children about God's
great love for them and to see them loving others with grace and compassion is, 3 John
1:4, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."
Sisters, let us walk in truth in 2022 and know that no matter what stage of life we’re in or
their circumstances, this Mother's Day, may we choose to find our fulfillment and joy in the Lord.
How are you finding contentment in Jesus throughout your daily life? I’d love to hear
about it in the comments.
By: Lynne M.
How do we know or feel God's presence with us? The Bible encourages us to "Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10. Stillness seems to be the key to communicating with anyone. Not only does it help to slow down our bodies and help us make eye contact, but we really can't truly receive or hear what another person is saying if we don't quiet our minds. The more we learn to take the focus off of ourselves and place it on God, the more we can thrive in relationship with Him, which is how He created us to live.
Here we truly learn that it is God’s peace, not the worlds, that surpasses all understanding and will guard our hearts and minds Philippians 4:7
I was able to hold it together until the last pan was washed on Christmas day at my Dad's. I came home with a high fever and hit the couch. Yes, I had covid and the waves of questions of how this may develop began to hit me. Oh how His peace became my daily Bread.
I couldn't swallow, even water, for 3 days. God guided and directed me at the exact moment I needed to get up and seek help. I was prompted to go to the emergency room. I was dehydrated and needed fluids and pain relievers. I sat there waiting to be treated for hours, in pain and discomfort, amongst so many others in the same condition, I was not alone. His peace, and now strength, that I needed just to sit in a chair, was so real. The recovery was a slow and difficult process, but again, God continued to feed me. Not physical bread that I couldn't even eat for a few weeks, but His Bread, the sustenance of life. . I was like an infant growing and learning to see all the blessings we take for granted each day.
How have you learned to trust the Lord throughout the pandemic? Has he revealed himself to you in new ways? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
“Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.” Zechariah 9:12 (ESV)
Somewhere in my childhood, I learned the lesson that hope is not safe. What imprinted that maxim into my young psyche, I’m not sure. Maybe hoping for something that never materialized: a special doll from the Sears Wish Book. Or a smile of approval from my preoccupied father. My disillusioned heart carried that conviction into adulthood like the chicken pox scar under my eye—barely noticeable but indelible.
I considered “hope” one of the most dangerous words in the English language. Hope is a set-up for heartbreak. Where hope abides, disappointment is idling in the driveway with a U-Haul. Who needs that kind of pain? So I said “nope” to hope and lowered my expectations to passive pessimism, preferring the occasional pleasant surprise to the disappointment of dashed dreams.
I understood intellectually that the Lord is good and loving, but my guarded heart was crippled. By refusing to hope, I was unable to fully trust in Him, afraid to let go for fear of letdown.
Friend, has something robbed your hope? Maybe, like Hannah (1 Samuel 1:3), you long to have a child and every month your hope crumbles a little bit more. Maybe you hope your marriage will change. Your health will improve. You’ll find another job. After a while, you might be ready to jettison hope altogether—or at least imprison your expectations behind the bars of your heart, locking away their relentless ache.
In the days of Zechariah, the Jews had begun to return from their exile in Babylon and rebuild Jerusalem. After years of struggle with adversaries on all sides, some had given up hope that they could ever fortify and reestablish the city. Yet God gave them a promise that lifted their eyes beyond their hopeless circumstances to the source of sure and unshakable hope: the coming Messiah. Scripture tells us, “Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey… Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double” (Zechariah 9:9,12 ESV).
As He did for his people, Israel, God heard my unspoken longings and fulfilled them perfectly through the love of Jesus Christ, setting me free to hope, to risk, to dream God-sized dreams.
When fear and disappointment imprison our hope, Jesus invites us to come to Him, our stronghold and place of safety. Whatever we’re afraid to hope for, whatever we’re afraid to reach for, whatever we’ve lost, He promises to restore double the blessings as we rely on Him.
Dear God, thank You that all my hopes are safe with You. Help me trust You with my deepest longings and remember that You desire to bless immeasurably more than all I could ask or imagine. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
*Originally published at Melanischitwood.com
To learn more about Leslie, please reach out at lamcleod.com
Throughout my life, I was raised in faith. I've gone to church, read my devotionals, participated in Her Life Speaks, served, and did all the 'right' things. While I had always seen God at work in my life, I was what you would consider a 'textbook Christian'. I knew all the right answers, but beyond that I categorized church and God as one part of my life as opposed to permeating and being the ruler over EVERY area of my life.
It wasn't until the pandemic that my faith took a 180. I realized the one thing I wasn't listening for or tapping into was the Holy Spirit. Through a study on the book of Ephesians in the New Testament, I felt for the first time the true understanding of what it means to abide in God's word and let it sink into my soul. The Holy Spirit totally convicted me with this study.
Ephesians focuses on who we are as daughters of Christ. A few highlights for me were:
I couldn't get enough of this study. I felt like it had unlocked the power of the Holy Spirit in my life in ways I didn't know were possible. My faith went from being that textbook Christian to a true believer and servant of the Lord. Once I started listening and abiding in God's word, The Holy Spirit was taking over every area of my life: tithing, prayer, relationships, etc.
When we pause, hear the Holy Spirit, and actually obey - this is where the blessing happens. Our obedience is testimony to our trust in God's plan for our life. This is where we receive the promises of God:
I want to encourage you to find that quiet time to read God's word, let it sink in, pray for the Holy Spirit to speak to you, listen, and then OBEY what God is convicting you of. When you obey, start noticing how the blessings unfold in every area of your life.
What are some ways the Holy Spirit communicates with you?
Have you seen any new blessings in your life from your obedience?
By, April Sliwak
Her Life Speaks concluded a study called I Am, Seven Powerful Claims of Jesus by Rose Bible Studies. We studied who Jesus is to us personally:
This was a contemplation of who Jesus is and what his purpose was for each one of us; God incarnate so we could see true Love, God the Father.
God loves you so much that he made a way to have a relationship with him.
Now it’s our turn. Who are we? Who do we think we are? What do the lies say we are? What is the stronghold that you just can’t let go of?
I live with lies such as; unworthy, unlikable, unlovable, incapable…. Because of who Jesus is, I know that these thoughts are not who God says I am nor for the purpose of which I was created.
This is God speaking to us:
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:4-8
Beginning this month, we’ll be studying: Who I am in Christ (your true identity).
This study will show us that you are:
Do you want to hear more in a safe community? Women and girls, join us in your perspective groups as we become encouraged with the reality of who we really are.
Who are you? You are a daughter of the King. A princess.
Click the Small Groups section on our website to find out more. We can’t wait to see you there.
Her Life Speaks is all about Her testimony, Her life, and who God is in Her story. Here we write our stories in hopes of helping other women find their relationship with Jesus Christ.